COVID forces families to rethink holiday traditions

Isabelle Braeske, Staff Writer

2020 has brought a lot of changes and surprises as a result of the COVID-19 virus. It seems as though everyone has suffered during the pandemic, whether it be losing a job, getting sick or just not being able to see family and friends. In addition, holiday celebrations looked a lot different in  2020.

Many people decided to stay home and gather with only their immediate family for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. Delilah Huck, sophomore, said that for her Thanksgiving celebration this year, she had dinner with her parents and sister, and a Zoom call with her distant relatives.

 “This Thanksgiving was different from past Thanksgivings because usually we would go to our family friends’ house for a big dinner,” Huck said. 

Tori Wilson, freshman, said that she had Thanksgiving dinner at her grandmother’s house with a much smaller group than other years.

Some students still got out and travelled while taking safety precautions. Elena Kellogg, sophomore, and her family made a few minor  adjustments to their Thanksgiving. 

We did what we usually do each year, which is drive to my grandparents’ house in Ohio and meet our cousins from Florida there,” Kellogg said.  “But this year, we decided to do it a few weeks before the holiday so that the flight wouldn’t be as risky for my cousins since it probably wouldn’t be as crowded.”

For Christmas and Hannukuh, people limited their travel and stayed home with immediate family. This compromises some family traditions, and complicates seeing relatives. Huck’s family normally gathers at their grandparents’ house for Christmas, but their 2020 plans changed.

This year will be the first year in my life we will not be able to do that, so we’ll just have a small Christmas at home,” Huck said.

Similarly, Kellogg’s family usually travels for Christmas, but adapted to a new, safer method of keeping up with extended family. 

“This year [we stayed] here and celebrated on our own and [did] a Zoom call with the rest of the family,” Kellogg said.